Frequently asked questions

If you have questions about IMI and our products or operations, take a look at the questions and answers listed below.

If you cannot find an answer to your question, feel free to contact us.

Click on any topic below to find frequently asked questions and answers.

Business office questions – doing business with Irving Materials, Inc.
Ordering IMI Concrete
Concrete on the job site: material handling
Concrete questions – general questions about concrete
Concrete and the environment
Ordering IMI Aggregates
Aggregate questions – general question about aggregates
HR questions

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    Business office questions – doing business with Irving Materials, Inc.
    • Q. Can I make a purchase from IMI if I don't have an account?

      A. Yes, we accept COD payments.

    • Q. How do I set up an account with IMI?

      A. You can download a credit application by clicking the link at the bottom of this page or by browsing to our Contact Us page.

    • Q. How long does it take to get a credit application approved?

      A. This can usually take two days to two weeks depending upon how soon the credit references come back.

    • Q. Does IMI take payments by credit card? If so, what types of credit cards are accepted?

      A. IMI accepts Visa and Mastercard on over-the-counter retail sales at our locations only. We do not accept credit card payments for accounts.

    • Q. Where do I send my payment?

      A. Please send your payment to the Remit to address on your invoice or statement. IMI's divisions bill separately. Each division has it's own remit to address on the invoice or statement. By sending your payment to the proper remit to address allows IMI to process your payment in an accurate and timely manner.

    • Q. If I send a check with no instructions, how does my payment get applied?

      A. If no instructions accompany the check, it is applied to the oldest outstanding invoice. By putting an account number along with an invoice number on the payment, we are better able to post the payment to match your records.

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    Ordering IMI Concrete
    • Q. How do I order concrete from IMI?

      A. Use our Find a Location at the top of the page. Find the IMI Concrete plant closest to your location and call the number listed. Our Customer Service Representatives will assist you with your order.

    • Q. How much notice should I give for delivery of concrete?

      A. We ask that you give us at least 24 hours notice. Large orders may require more notice. Our schedules change daily from plant to plant. For more information, please call your Customer Service Representative to determine a delivery schedule.

    • Q. If there is rain in the forecast, what should I do about my order?

      A. If you have placed an order with us and the weather forces you to postpone the pour, contact us as soon as you can. We will put a hold on your order and work with you to reschedule it.

    • Q. How do I figure the amount of concrete I need?

      A. Measure the length, width and depth of all the areas where you are pouring concrete. You can give this information to your Customer Service Representative when you place your order or you can use our concrete calculator. Click here.

    • Q. What is slump and do I need to have this information when I am placing my order?

      A. Slump refers to how wet or dry fresh concrete is upon delivery. Slump is based on a 12 inch scale. The lower the slump number, the drier the concrete will be. A slump of 1 is very dry concrete, while a slump of 12 will run like water. This is a key piece of information that we will need to mix your concrete batch. Your Customer Service Representative can talk to you about your best slump option based upon your project.

    • Q. Can other finishing products be delivered with my concrete?

      A. Yes, if you place your order for these products when you make your concrete order, we will deliver it on the mixer truck with your concrete. Make sure you tell your Customer Service Representative what you need.

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    Concrete on the job site: material handling
    • Q. How much room does your mixer truck need to access my worksite?

      A. Our trucks are all front-end discharge mixers and are made to maneuver in tight areas. The minimum clear space they need to get to your job site is 10 feet wide and 15 feet high. They are also very heavy. A mixer truck that is fully loaded can weigh up to 38 tons. It is your responsibility to make sure that the path to your site is large enough to let the truck through, is clear of debris and can handle the weight of the truck. Know where utility lines are located and avoid running the truck over them. National Electrical Code specifies overhead lines be 15-1/2' in the air. Keep the truck from wet areas that will cause it to sink into the mud.

    • Q. How far does the chute on a concrete mixer reach?

      A. The maximum reach of our chutes (with their extensions) is 23 feet. They can rotate 86º.

    • Q. If we are using a pump, elevator, bucket or some other method to transport the concrete from the truck to the pour site, do you need to know this information?

      A. Yes, it is very important for us to know for two reasons. First, we may need to batch your concrete with an additive that makes it easier on the delivery mechanisms. Secondly, some delivery methods speed up a pour and some slow it down. Knowing your delivery method helps us to know how quickly to dispatch your trucks.

    • Q. Are there specific safety standards I should use when pouring concrete?

      A. Yes. First, understand that concrete is extremely heavy (a cubic yard weighs 4,000 lbs.) Never walk under a chute or other delivery mechanisms, such as pumps and conveyors. Stay clear of our trucks, especially when they are backing up. Assist the driver with directions when backing up. Also understand that fresh concrete should not be exposed to your skin or your eyes. Please refer to our Safety Page. Click here.

    • Q. How long can I leave concrete on the mixer truck before it begins to set up?

      A. Concrete is a time sensitive material. We would suggest that you begin moving the concrete off of the mixer within 15 minutes of the truck arriving on your site. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to finish the concrete. A fully loaded truck should be emptied within 60 minutes of the concrete mixing with water.

    • Q. How long does it take concrete to set up?

      A. It depends upon several factors. The weather is the biggest factor. The temperature of the concrete is critical to set times. When the air temperature dips below 60ºF, you may need to add an accelerant to the concrete to help it reach the correct temperature. The relative humidity also impacts set times. When the humidity is high, concrete drying slows down. Different batches of concrete are designed to set up within differing time frames. Ask your Customer Service Representative about the expected set times of your concrete.

    • Q. Will your drivers assist my crews in placing the concrete?

      A. No. The driver is there to safely operate the truck and any of the apparatus, such as the chutes. Once the concrete leaves the truck, you are responsible for any labor needed to move it into place.

    • Q. Can I add water to the concrete on the truck?

      A. It is a common practice to add water to re-temper the concrete once it arrives on the job site, especially in hot weather. However, adding water will impact the slump and strength of the concrete. See our guidelines for hot weather concrete. Click here.

    • Q. How can I keep concrete from cracking?

      A. The best thing you can do is to learn and practice the concrete finishing and curing standards that are spelled out by the American Concrete Institute (ACI). This will help you understand how to properly pour, finish and protect concrete so it will last for years. IMI sells products that help control cracking and other problems. For instance, imix XS steel fiber reinforced concrete helps control thermal cracking. Click here to learn more about imix XS. Surface retardants can be applied to fresh concrete to control plastic shrinkage cracking. Click here to learn more.

    • Q. Is it a good idea to put a sealer on new concrete?

      A. Yes. When sealers are applied correctly, they can help protect concrete from outside corrosive materials. There are many different types of concrete sealers. Follow the directions on the label. See our list of sealers and their applications. Click here.

    • Q. How will I know how much concrete has been delivered to my job site?

      A. The driver will give you a delivery ticket that will spell out the batch of concrete that was ordered and how much is on the truck. For jobs that require more than one truck, you will receive a delivery ticket with each truckload. We would suggest you have a place to store these on the job site so you can match them up with your billing statement.

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    Concrete questions – general questions about concrete
    • Q. What is the difference between cement and concrete?

      A. Cement is an ingredient in concrete. Cement is a fine powder that becomes pasty when mixed with water. Concrete utilizes cement as a glue to hold together a mixture of coarse aggregates, sand, and water.

    • Q. Why does concrete crack?

      A. Concrete has the same characteristics as a sponge. Just like the sponge that you leave on the edge of the sink after you cleaned your dishes, when the water leaves the sponge, the corners curl towards each other. Concrete goes through the same process as the sponge, but the sponge does not weigh nearly as much. When concrete dries, gravity takes over. Concrete cracks where it needs relief from the stresses of the drying. To alleviate this problem, proper curing practices are needed. Adding a surface retardant during finishing will help moisture evaporate evenly. Also, saw joints that relieve stress need to be cut at the proper depth and widths. Take a look at our Plastic Shrinkage Cracking page. Click here.

    • Q. What causes concrete to blister and eventually flake off?

      A. Concrete has tiny air bubbles like a soda pop. They must be allowed to escape. If not, the air will become trapped and push the surface layer loose. To download The Little Book of Concrete Problems and Solutions, click here.

    • Q. Does concrete ever totally dry out?

      A. No, there is always moisture in concrete.

    • Q. What is curing?

      A. Curing is the process concrete goes through to gain its strength. The keys to this are maintaining a proper amount of moisture in the concrete as it sets up and making sure the temperature of the concrete does not drop below a threshold level to properly harden. As time goes by, concrete gets stronger and stronger. This happens as the cement molecules are hydrated and bond with the aggregate in the concrete.

    • Q. Should I put salt ice melters on my concrete driveway and sidewalks?

      A. No. Salt has a tendency to eat into concrete and pit it. Calcium chloride ice melters are better choices for concrete. You can protect your concrete surfaces by sealing them every few years. Click here to see our concrete sealers.

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    Concrete and the environment
    • Q. What is Fly Ash and why is it used?

      A. Fly ash is a recycled product that is left over from the burning of coal. It is used in place of Portland Cement to improve the performance and finishability of concrete.

    • Q. Are there other recycled products used in concrete?

      A. Yes. Some other post-industrial recycled products commonly used in concrete include slag – a waste product of steel production – and microsilica – a byproduct of silicon and ferrosilicon production.

    • Q. Is concrete environmentally friendly?

      A. Yes. Concrete is chemically inert and has no components made from petroleum products or other chemicals that might have an adverse impact on our water supply due to rainwater run-off.

    • Q. How many trees are typically needed to build a wood-frame home?

      A. The typical wood-frame home requires 41 trees to provide all the materials needed. Concrete products can replace many, if not all, of the wood products, including the roof.

    • Q. Can using concrete as a construction material reduce air temperature?

      A. Yes. Today's cities are "heat islands" that are several degrees warmer than the surrounding countryside. By planting trees and building homes and pavements with light colored surfaces, air temperatures can be lowered by up to 10 degrees.

    • Q. I have heard that some concrete can clean storm water. Is this true?

      A. Yes. Pervious concrete is a paving material that allows water to run through it instead of off of its surface. It filters out many pollutants during this process. IMI produces imix Eco Pave pervious concrete for this purpose. Click here to learn more.

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    Ordering IMI Aggregates
    • Q. Where does IMI have aggregate mining operations?

      A. We operate 18 quarries throughout the state of Indiana. To see our locations, click here.

    • Q. How do I order aggregates from IMI?

      A. Click on the Find a Location tool at the top of the page. Enter your location and find the closest IMI Aggregates location. Call the phone number listed and talk to one of our Customer Service Representatives.

    • Q. How do I get aggregates delivered to my house?

      A. Each aggregate plant has a dispatch office that can schedule a truck to deliver the aggregates to your house. IMI neither owns nor operates the trucks that deliver the aggregates across public roads. The deliveries are done on a contract basis. Haul fees are determined by the distance from the plant the trucks must travel to deliver the load based on a fully loaded truck. The dispatch person will be able to quote the haul fee at the time of your order.

    • Q. What information should I have ready when ordering aggregates?

      A. Your Customer Service Representative will ask you a series of questions to complete your order. The basic information you should have when ordering aggregate for delivery:

      1. The type of aggregate needed, including the size.
      2. The tonnage needed. Click here for our Aggregate Calculator.
      3. If you are not picking up, the delivery address, for a haul rate quote.
      4. Any obstructions that may prevent access by a dump truck.

    • Q. What are the different sizes of aggregates available?

      A. Aggregates range from sand to boulders. Please call your local plant to help determine the right size aggregate to suit your needs.

    • Q. Does IMI supply aggregates that have been approved for state and federal roads and bridges?

      A. Yes. Call us if you are bidding on such a job and we can help you with your pricing.

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    Aggregate questions – general question about aggregates
    • Q. What aggregates does IMI mine?

      A. We mine, crush and sort limestone, gravel and sand.

    • Q. Is there a difference between stone and gravel?

      A. Yes. Limestone is generally white or gray in color with angular edges. It is mined from deposits left from oceans hundreds of millions of years ago. Gravel is a mix of various stones. It has many different colors and is usually smooth and rounded. Gravel is mined from deposits left from glaciers only a few million years ago.

    • Q. What is the difference between Masons Sand and coarse sand?

      A. As the name implies, Masons Sand is used in mortar for bricks and blocks. It is a finer sand with little variation in the size of the grains. Coarse sand is used for concrete mixes, fill material and bedding for utility pipes.

    • Q. What is the difference between washed and unwashed stone or gravel?

      A. As the name implies, washed aggregates go through a process where smaller particles are washed away. Unwashed stone or gravel will have small aggregates; from dust to the size of stone you ordered.

    • Q. What happens when IMI is finished mining in a quarry?

      A. When we retire a quarry, we look for the best reuse for the property that is environmentally friendly and good for the community where it is located. This includes managing the site as it fills with water, adding access roads, planting new forests, and supplying park equipment. For more information on our adaptive reuse plan, look at our Green Keys to Environmental Stewardship Report. Click here.

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    HR questions
    • Q. Where would I find a job application to work at IMI?

      A. You can download a job application by clicking on the Contact Us link at the top of the page. Scroll to the bottom of the page, you will find applications for the different regional divisions of the company.

    • Q. What qualifications do I need to be a driver for IMI?

      A. You must be at least 21 years old, have a valid Commercial Drivers License (CDL) issued from the state where you will be working. You must also have a valid, up-to-date DOT physical, and pass a DOT required drug and alcohol pre-employment screening.

    • Q. How long does IMI keep my application?

      A. We will keep your application on file for one year.

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